The bottom line is quite literally economic, rather than ideological.
“Women consistently earn less money and hold less power, which fosters women’s economic dependency on men,” Kretschmer and her co-authors write in their study. “Thus, it is within married women’s interests to support policies and politicians who protect their husbands and improve their status.”
In fact, since men are the primary breadwinners in the vast majority of American families, their wives may well see equality-focused measures as setting their husbands – and therefore their family – back.
“Some married women perceive advances for women, such as lawsuits to mitigate pay discrimination, as coming at the expense of their male partners,” the authors continue.
Married straight women siding with the economic interests of their husbands and families over the collective interests of women was something authors observed anecdotally during the campaign, too.
A college-educated woman identifying as a liberal Democrat confided to Kretschmer – not wanting to be identified, as a Trump voter – that she had voted for him over Clinton because her husband’s job depends on the coal industry; she saw Trump as the candidate that would protect it, and by extension her family’s economic interests. Kretschmer called her story “the clearest, most heartbreaking validation of our article that I had ever heard”.